What is a common theme between the Mona Lisa and the "Allegory of the Cave"?

A common theme between the two is the exploration of perception versus reality. "The Cave" explores what people inside a cave see when their only glimpse of the outside world is of shadows things that pass outside the cave cast on the cave wall. Do the shadows represent reality? A question with the Mona Lisa has always been, what is she looking at? People say that her eyes follow them as they move. Is this reality or perception?

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A common theme between the painting Mona Lisa and the "Allegory of the Cave" is the exploration of the difference between perception versus reality. "The Cave" is a well-known work by Plato that explores perception versus reality. The Mona Lisa is a well-known painting by Leonardo da Vinci. A...

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A common theme between the painting Mona Lisa and the "Allegory of the Cave" is the exploration of the difference between perception versus reality. "The Cave" is a well-known work by Plato that explores perception versus reality. The Mona Lisa is a well-known painting by Leonardo da Vinci. A common theme between the two is asking the question, what do we really see?

"The Cave" explores what a group of people shuttered inside a cave, with no access to the outside world, sees. Their only glimpse or images of the outside world is of the shadows of things that pass outside the cave and create shadows on the wall of the cave. The question is of perceived reality versus imagined. What is the reality of the shadows that they see? Do the shadows represent actual figures or are the shadows distorted by the dwellers’ perceptions and other factors? If the image of the shadow cast on the cave wall appears to be that of a giant man, could it be, in reality, the shadow of a man of normal stature whose shadow is elongated by the angle at which the light hits the man? The question is what are the cave dwellers really looking at?

Similarly, a question with the Mona Lisa has always been what is she looking at? With her subtle smile that is often described as mysterious, art critics question what the sitter who posed for the painting was looking at while da Vinci did her portrait. Moreover, people also say that the eyes of the figure in the painting follow them as they move past the painting. Is this reality or perception?

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